A client in Los Angeles bought this beautiful old home in Echo Park about a year before I got involved with the project. She'd done a bang up job with the interiors but needed some help with the gardens. Given the style of the home it was obvious that we were going to be creating a Southern California version of an English Garden. Here are a couple of pictures of what it looked like before we got started...
The garden had some good bones but it also had some serious gopher activity as well as hedges and plants that had long since outlived their prime. I did some of the cleanup myself, hired some pros to do the trees and my client and I shopped the nurseries out in Malibu for the plants. It was a small project but definitely the kind I love doing because the transformation is so satisfying.
The addition of an arbor at the front gate was intended to reflect the pitch of the gable on the second story of the house. We covered it with white Iceberg climbing roses and added them to the inside of the fence as well. They're hidden here behind the sage. Rather than tearing everything out and starting from scratch we chose instead to build upon what was already there and bring everything into a new and more vibrant arena.
The original plan was to take all of the old sage out but I convinced my client to leave it in, cut it way back and get more water to it. Worked like a charm; when the sage is in bloom it puts on quite a show.
Calla lilies, roses, bower vines, wisteria and a variety of flowering bushes were all added to help create the illusion of a carefree cottage garden.
These pictures were taken within a few months of finishing the project so the overgrown and lush look of the garden has continued strong as the years have passed.